A Brilliant Pianist

Charlie Wilson is a pianist who lives in Cincinnati and plays out on a rare occasion, usually in the company of King Reeves, an equally talented vibraphonist. Sometimes the two of them work as a duet and sometimes they expand the lineup to a quintet. Decades ago, while he was living in California, Charlie played with Don Cherry – and this goes back far enough that it was actually before the Ornette Coleman Quartet that changed the shape of jazz. After moving to Cincinnati, Charlie toured with Roland Kirk.

  Continue reading “A Brilliant Pianist”

Nelson Slater Pays a Visit

I had a nice visit today with Nelson Slater, who dropped by to trade two LPs of particular interest to me for a box of 45s of particular interest to him. If you don’t know Nelson, he’s a fellow Cliftonite who has done contract work for Gaslight Property. Nelson attended Syracuse University in the early 1960s, where he befriended and played music with a guy named Lou Reed, who ended up forming a band that was pretty good and then went on to have a solo career as well. Nelson also penned a couple great song in the soul vein that have become what I will refer to as obscure classics: “Get Out” by Tommy Sears and “Symphony” by Andy & the Marglows. Here are youtube links to hear those songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rClPJOfCeDc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-CyeyZB064

In 1976 Nelson released an album called Wild Angel on RCA; Lou Reed produced the record and performed on it. He continues to perform all over the country and release new music. While Nelson was here I had a chance to catch up with what was going on musically and otherwise.    Continue reading “Nelson Slater Pays a Visit”

Willy and Haneef: Street Musicians Extraordinaire

Willy and Haneef: Street MusiciansYou may have caught wind of the fact that UC beat Syracuse in the Big East semifinal game; there may even be a reader or two who watched the game on TV. I caught bits and pieces toward the end, but it happened to be taking place during a phase of the day when cabin fever was getting to me. My cure: walking up and down Ludlow Avenue with no particular destination. (I’m good at that, by the way; I think a lot of people are.) Along the way I saw through windows people jumping up and down and cheering whenever a ball went through a net on the end of the court where they wanted it to go through. Even a light winter tends to make us a feel a bit rusty when it comes to revisiting the places we visit much more frequently when the weather is warm, and as I walked up Ludlow I wondered if I’d end up feeling like George Bailey did when his guardian angel takes him on a tour of Pottersville.    Continue reading “Willy and Haneef: Street Musicians Extraordinaire”